New books for the summer

I wrote a blog post recently about filling our days during the summer holidays. The fact that the children are not in school doesn’t mean that there’s no disruption to their routine.

We’ve managed to keep busy, going out every morning to spend some time outside somewhere and wear the girls out for their afternoon nap.

But I don’t like wasting the time that we do spend at home, and one of the best ways to pass the time is with some exciting books.

Here are the brilliant new releases from MacMillan Books that we are enjoying this summer.

1. Bear and Hare: Where’s Bear? – Emily Gravett

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This is a very basic story about bear and hare playing hide and seek. Every time one of them hides, the numbers one to ten are written in nice big, colourful type across the pages.

For my girls, this is perfect. Lia loves the story and looking for bear, whereas Libby is just starting to learn to recognise her numbers.

This book has really helped Libby along with her number recognition and has led us to move onto playing some simple number games.

2. Smelly Louie – Catherine Rayner

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This book really does strike a chord around here. It’s about a dog that stinks.

Unfortunately for Louie, he is forced to have a bath (the ultimate punishment around here, they have to roll in something truly awful for bath time to strike!)

The very sweet story then follows how Louie finds his smell again. And for dog owners – yes, there is a fox involved!

3. Zippo the Super Hippo – Kes Gray and Nikki Dyson

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On looking at the front page of this book, I totally jumped to the wrong conclusion about what Zippo’s super power was going to be, so I’m not going to ruin it for you.

But suffice to say, Zippo wants to have a super power. He teams up with his friend Roxi the bird to find out what his super power is.

He tries all sorts of things, but none of them seem to be his calling. And then Roxi spots something…

4. Lion Practice – Emma Carlisle

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This is a book about a little girl called Laura who likes to pretend to be different animals.

Of course (much like all children) she’s not into being quiet, sleepy animals. She’s all about the noisy ones like crocodiles and lions.

Lia is a huge fan of lions. Odd for one so small perhaps. But she has a favourite cuddly toy called Rori lion. As a result, she could roar before she could talk.

It goes without saying that Lia is a huge fan of this book. By the end of it, even Laura’s family are joining in. And Lia’s family?  Well that would be telling.

5. Draw with: Marta Altes – You Are an Artist

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This is the sort of book that if Libby could read, I could sit her down with and wouldn’t hear from her for hours.

It teaches you to draw various different things, think outside the box (or frame) and create masterpieces of your own.

For Libby’s age it is quite attention intensive, because I have to go through every page with her. But it engages her attention really well because there are stickers to use.

She’s not ready for producing anything too impressive herself yet, but it’s a great way to get her to engage with drawing and she feels a sense of achievement from using her stickers to complete the activities.

6. Draw with: Yasmeen Ismail – Let’s go Find a Tiger

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Much like the other art book this one has stickers as well as teaching you to draw. Libby is particularly keen on this one because of the jungle setting.

She has learnt to draw a (very) basic bird herself as well as putting her stickers on.

The pictures that she creates are bright, colourful and recognisable. This is even without being particularly talented at drawing.

I like the fact that the stickers make books like this more accessible to a range of ages. I can imagine that in a couple of years time, this will be something I will do with both girls which each can play their part in.

7. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree – Gemma Merino

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This book is the bovine version of Happy Feet, it’s brilliant.

Tina the cow introduces the rest of her herd to a whole new world. She is a rather unusual cow, who doesn’t want to spend her life chewing grass.

It’s amazing the adventures you can have when you expand your world. Climbing a tree, for example.

The illustrations in this book are fab too. Anyone who can illustrate a cow climbing a tree is doing pretty well in my book.

Please note, we were kindly sent these books so we could tell you about them. All views, opinions, lion loving babies and number crunching toddlers are my own.



  1. July 29, 2015 / 7:35 am

    What a lovely haul 🙂 we had smelly Louie from the library – big hit with the kids!

    • monsterid August 3, 2015 / 10:03 pm

      Yes, Libby is reading it on repeat too!x

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